New York state, home to the legendary New York City. Famous places such as Times Square and Central Park have become synonymous with the state. New York state became official on July 9th, 1776. After serving as a colony of Great Britain for more than 100 years, New York declared its independence and became one of the original 13 states of the Federal Union. New York state flags display the official coat of arms for that state which was formally adopted in 1778. The flag has only changed slightly since its creation in 1778, where its background in 1901 was changed by the legislature from buff to blue by law.